Western Australia to hand out innovation grants

X-TEND WA will offer grants of up to AU$100,000 to get the state's startups 'investor ready'.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Western Australia wants to boost its innovation capability, offering up grants to startups, emerging businesses, and small to medium-sized enterprises to help them become "investor ready".

The pilot program, X-TEND WA, will see organisations that deliver innovator or investor education programs have access to grants of up to AU$100,000.

According to a statement from Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly, the funding will be used to deliver programs that are designed to assist those fitting the profile become scalable.

"The X-TEND WA program will give more small WA businesses the opportunity to thrive, create WA jobs, and provide a boost to the local economy," he said.

"The new pilot program will also enhance education of investors, creating greater confidence for investment in Western Australian innovative projects."

The minister also said that improving investment in the state's newer businesses is "crucial to ensuring our local and talented innovators stay in WA, rather than moving interstate or overseas".

The X-TEND WA program, funded through the state's AU$16.7 million New Industries Fund, is expected to also offer support to organisations that deliver programs designed to further educate current and potential investors in a bid to provide confidence for private investment throughout WA.

The state's police force on Monday also saw stage two kick off of its state-wide rollout of body worn cameras to frontline police officers.

Initially, 4,200 body worn cameras will be delivered to officers in the Perth District and those attached to the Traffic Enforcement Group, with officers in the Pilbara region to soon follow. Police Minister Michelle Roberts expects more than 200 cameras to be deployed to the region by June.

The devices will capture real-time audio and video in a bid to improve transparency and accountability in police interactions.

"Body worn cameras are a significant step in the digital modernisation of WA Police Force. The benefits include improved evidence gathering and accountability, and I expect they will optimise how our frontline officers operate," Commissioner of Police Chris Dawson added.

Meanwhile, the state's Premier Mark McGowan took on social media following a trove of offensive comments pointed towards one of the state's sportsmen.

As reported by WA Today, the premier said social media companies should force users to use their real names to prevent anonymous trolling.

Read also: Facebook says people, not regulators, should decide what is seen  

"Anonymous keyboard warriors are out there demeaning and attacking using vile and racist and sexist commentary about other people," he is quoted as saying.

"Social media operators need to have greater responsibility.

"They need to be made to have greater responsibility in relation to these sorts of things because it is not acceptable."


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